Carl VOGT who was initiated into the Golden Dawn right at the end of my period, September 1900, and chose the German motto ‘Durchdacht’.
It turned out, when I began to search for this GD member, that there was a noted Swiss politician and writer living in Switzerland: I got lots of references on the web for this man; but I was sure that he wasn’t the man I was after. Bless Carl Vogt for having a name unusual in England, however - I found him on the 1901 census, living in the lodging house kept by Miss Lily J Moore at 24 Oakley Square London NW. Miss Moore’s house was near Euston Station, very convenient for people working in the City of London, and half of her 8 lodgers described themselves as clerks and two more said they were accountants. Naturally, 7 of the 8 had been born elsewhere; the exception was Mabel Hancock, the only woman and the only Londoner. Two came from countries outside the Empire. One was Danish; the other was Carl Vogt.
How often have I wished that the census officials would give a bit more detail! When it came to what people did for a living, the officials’ main focus was on getting the sources of people’s income in as few words as possible so the information would fit on the form they had to use. When Carl Vogt described (possibly in rather thickly-accented English - I’m sure he could speak some English) how he earned his daily bread, the official just scribbled “merchant”. So I know that Carl Vogt bought and sold for his living: but whether he dealt in silk or jute, or diamonds or coal, or shares or rivets, or all those things, I cannot say. And did he work for himself? Or for someone else? Or for a big firm, and if so was it an English one or a foreign one? The census official wasn’t interested.
If I knew more about what Carl Vogt bought and sold, and who he did it for, it might hint at WHO HE KNEW IN THE GOLDEN DAWN; but as things stand, I don’t know who it was he had met who was in the GD.
Another problem with information on the census was that, if you were not born in England, the official was not going to make much effort to be exact. So in 1901, no matter how specific Carl Vogt might have been about where he was born, all that was jotted down was “Germany”. Is that Berlin or Leipzig? Essen or Frankfurt? Or none of those places? The official did note that Carl Vogt was 45 years old, and unmarried.
Even that much information on Carl Vogt was a lot more than I had expected, so I tried the 1891 and 1911 censuses to see if he was a long-term resident in England. He was not on either of them; and although he could have been on holiday, or even away on business on both occasions, I think it’s more likely that in 1901 he was working in London temporarily.
BASIC SOURCES I USED for all Golden Dawn members.
Membership of the Golden Dawn: The Golden Dawn Companion by R A Gilbert. Northampton: The Aquarian Press 1986. Between pages 125 and 175, Gilbert lists the names, initiation dates and addresses of all those people who became members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or its many daughter Orders between 1888 and 1914. The list is based on the Golden Dawn’s administrative records and its Members’ Roll - the large piece of parchment on which all new members signed their name at their initiation. All this information had been inherited by Gilbert but it’s now in the Freemasons’ Library at the United Grand Lodge of England building on Great Queen Street Covent Garden.
Family history: freebmd; ancestry.co.uk (census and probate); findmypast.co.uk; familysearch. Of course none of these cover Europe. Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage; Burke’s Landed Gentry; Armorial Families; thepeerage.com; and a variety of one-family genealogy websites.
Famous-people sources: mostly about men, of course, but very useful even for the female members of GD. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Who Was Who. Times Digital Archive.
Catalogues: British Library; Freemasons’ Library.
Wikipedia; Google; Google Books - my three best resources. I also used other web pages, but with some caution, as - from the historian’s point of view - they vary in quality a great deal.
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
24 April 2012